tip off

The people have spoken: axe the tax

Crikey readers have their say on the carbon tax, mandates, Syria and paid lobbyists.

Like it or not, Abbott has a mandate on carbon tax

Douglas Kirsner writes: Re. “Crikey says: what’s in a mandate? ” (Tuesday). Tony Abbott has a clear mandate to abolish the carbon tax. It was a key policy at the election. As prime minister, Kevin Rudd recently declared that governments were obliged to act in accordance with their democratic mandate. In the recent election debate, Rudd responded to David Speers’ question as to whether it was right that he dismantled Howard’s Pacific Solution following the 2007 election, Rudd declared  ”I believe in acting in accordance with your democratic mandate. That is what we took to the people, and the people supported it.”  Abbott took the abolition of the carbon tax to the people, and the people supported it. It would be hypocritical of Labor to reject it in the Senate. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Tamas Calderwood writes: Interesting thoughts from Crikey on how an election victory translates into a mandate for specific policies.  When it comes to the carbon tax, however, it’s difficult to argue that Abbott didn’t win a mandate to scrap it.  This logic flows from the fact that Labor categorically ruled out a carbon tax before the 2010 election and then shoved it down our throats afterwards — sans mandate — thereby making the tax a major factor in Abbott’s victory.

The Greens and Labor have the senate numbers to block its repeal until next year, but Labor needs to ask if it wants to double down on its association with the Greens: a party that broke its partnership with Labor anyway — although not until after it received all its promised goodies.  Why would Labor keep supporting the Greens’ key policy after their partnership led them both to electoral disaster?

Selling weapons has consequences 

Ingrid Strewe writes: Re. “Russia may yet offer US a Syrian lifeline” (yesterday). If Assad gives back his gas stocks, will the UK company that sold him the components give him his money back? While there is still doubt his government actually used them you have to ask: what do we expect when we sell arms, any kind of arms, to anyone, let alone dictators?

Discuss. (Please)

Paid pollies

Katrina Willis writes: Re. “Open for business: Lib flacks rush to Canberra to lobby Abbott” (yesterday). Your item in today’s bulletin about the lobbyists was interesting. So many former politicians and staffers (from Labor and Coalition ranks) seem to set up shop working as lobbyists or in associated. It’s a sharp contrast to former prime minister Julia Gillard, who it was announced today will work in a voluntary (i.e.) unpaid capacity at the University of Adelaide. It would be interesting to see how many ex-politicians have chosen public service roles. For example, Bob Brown has set up a foundation working on environmental issues.

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  • 1
    klewso
    Posted Thursday, 12 September 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Gillard’s going to give something back - these other “civically minded enough to go into politics to make a difference” individuals just want to keep on sucking after they’ve left the primary teat?

  • 2
    Bill Hilliger
    Posted Thursday, 12 September 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Abbott has a mandate for scrapping the carbon tax, wot! As Abbott know so well; when in opposition you oppose everything - Tony knows that; after all he literally perfected the art of opposition.

  • 3
    mattsui
    Posted Thursday, 12 September 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Could Douglas remind me - I seem to have forgotten whether or not the Liberal opposition voted in favour of Rudd’s changes to refugee policy?

    And Welcome back Thamas! I guess we’ll be hearing from you again now that carbon reduction is backk on the legislative agenda. Remind me to renew my subs’.
    Both the Government elected in 2007 AND the opposition of the same term campaigned FOR an ETS. That the Liberal oposition reneged at the last minute (effectively giving birth to Prime Minister Abbott) shows you the value of a mandate is as nothing.

  • 4
    klewso
    Posted Thursday, 12 September 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Change the government - change the role of the Opposition. To make it easy for Toady!”?

  • 5
    klewso
    Posted Thursday, 12 September 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Chapter 1 “Murdoch Conservative Politics 101”?

  • 6
    @Keening_Product
    Posted Thursday, 12 September 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Yes the government has a mandate, but government is formed in the lower house. The Senate is supposed to be a house of review and alternative views with its own mandate to its electors! Abbott should stop sooking and negotiate.

  • 7
    JohnB
    Posted Thursday, 12 September 2013 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    @Keening, is there any evidence, at all, anywhere, that our new PM understands the meaning of the word “negotiate”?

    Let alone the further step, towards “compromise”.

  • 8
    Draco Houston
    Posted Friday, 13 September 2013 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    The Libs can try and rationalize it all they want, but the opposition is there to oppose. You can get salty about it, call them clever names with the word ‘no’ in it, but if they don’t like your bills they will vote it down. I suggest you lot get used to it.

  • 9
    Malcolm Street
    Posted Friday, 13 September 2013 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Douglas - the difference is that Rudd had a Senate which *also* had such a mandate.

  • 10
    klewso
    Posted Sunday, 15 September 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    I reckon it has a mandate to fashion policy to suit the majority it didn’t get in it’s own right - to work with others at knocking the rough edges off their model, to get a more consensual acceptable product - according to elected representation.

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